Day 4 was our last scheduled training day with Wayne and it was also our last day before a much needed two day break from class/FTD. We started at 5:30 AM this morning and finished around 10 AM. I came back to the hotel after the sim session and crashed hard for a few hours before gathering enough energy to write this article.
We spent a majority of today in an old B767-200 simulator (circa late 1980s). It is a full motion simulator, but we did not turn on the motion since Wayne is not a full motion sim instructor (union rules). You might ask, why did we even go into the full motion simulator if we didn’t plan on turning on the motion? The purpose of going to the simulator was to get introduced to the differences between the B767 and B757, which is what we had been training in past few days. If you recall from my previous blogs, the B757/B767 is a common type rating, meaning when I pass my checkride I will be certified to fly both interchangeably.
We really didn’t do anything special today in terms of procedures, we just simulated a flight from KLAS to KPHX in normal operations (no failures). I guess some things to note about our training today were that we learned how to create a radial intercept in the FMC and also how to create a Point/Bearing/Distance waypoint. Below are some pictures from the simulator; unfortunately I wasn’t able to snap any photos when it was turned on.
This particular cockpit configuration is the oldest version of them all. All displays were CRTs (cathode ray tubes) while the remaining instruments were round dials. The aircraft was also equipped with no GPS, just IRUs (internal reference units). We technically do not have any B767s that are configured in this way, but we do have three B757s still in operation that utilize this cockpit configuration and they are lovingly called the “Three Amigos”.
Yesterday I spoke a little bit about how our training program teaches the B757/B767 like a big Cessna 172. Today, I am going to speak to why I think it might be that way. Other than the fact the company has been teaching the B757/B767 the same way for the past 25 years, the B757 and B767 are extremely different aircraft. In our fleet alone, we have four primary configurations and within those primary configurations there are many special equipment variations.
On the first day of training, Dave and I both received an envelope with what I thought was a poster to tape up in my hotel room so I could practice procedures at night (i.e. “chair fly”). When I got to the hotel and opened the envelope, I thought there might be a mistake because it contained not one but three posters (see below). I quickly realized that each poster represented a different cockpit configuration. I am not 100% sure I have this correct, but here is how I understand the four configurations in our fleet:
- B757-ADV: We have the most of these, they are GPS and flat panel equipped and have upgraded Pegasus FMCs.
- B757-CFD (GPS): We have maybe 8-10 of these aircraft left in service. They are GPS equipped, but they use CRTs and round dials to display flight instruments. I believe they have the upgraded Pegasus FMCs.
- B757-CFD (non-GPS): These are the Three Amigos. They are not equipped with GPS, they use CRTs and round dials to display flight instruments, and they use Pegasus Lite FMCs. These “Lite” versions have the equivalent of a Pentium 1 processor in them, so they are very slow at processing inputs.
- B767-ADV: These are like the B757-ADV, but obviously are B767s instead of B757s which means other systems are vastly different.
Bottom line, I am increasingly starting to wonder how in the in the world the FAA allowed a common type rating between the B757 and B767. With just the differences alone that exist in our B757 fleet, there is enough to keep a pilot occupied during a training course. Introduce the B767 differences into the fleet and I feel like I am learning at least two completely different airplanes in the time it takes to learn one.
Anyway, that is enough for now. Since I am off for the next two days, I probably won’t blog unless I find some interesting material to talk about in my studies.